Slice of Life – Jenny S

Written by AHQ

18 May 2015

G’day.  I have another slice of life for you tonight.  I think this one is a little special and I think you will enjoy it.

Over to Jenny S.

A Slice of Life

I’m not a retiree.   I’m not an amazing quilter.   I’m NOT grey haired (well, there are a few but I blame my kids and hubby for those!).  I’m still in my 40s, just. 

I work full-time teaching in a primary school.   My home is a 130 acre farm so I’m also a farmer and we have begun farm-stay accommodation.  Does it sound like I have a mountain of free time to twiddle my thumbs??  No, I don’t.  I make time.  

I make time to do the things that are important. 

I don’t have a family member in the armed forces.   I’ve never been a member.  So why Aussie Hero Quilts?  

Something happened in my life where I felt I needed to look beyond myself and do something for someone I didn’t know.  This is different to helping those who are in my life, I wanted to ‘give’ without an expectation in return and enhance someone’s life somehow.   Whilst looking for the right ‘thing’ to do I came across Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) and read their blog.  I knew they were for me. 

Let me take a step back to 2013.  I travelled up the East Coast from my home in Eastern Victoria to Cooktown in my little Avan.   On my travels I stayed at Yungaburra, Queensland, for 4 nights.  The caravan park I stayed in overlooked ‘The Avenue Of Honour’ and my van had prime view of it. If you travel in little vans you get great spots because the massive vans don’t fit!   My arrival at Yungaburra occurred a few days after the official opening of ‘The Avenue Of Honour’.    

I wake early, very early, every day.  So in the early morn I would walk ‘The Avenue’ as the sun rose.   I live on a lake and the early mornings made me feel at home with the mist rising gently over the water and the crisp air rejuvenated me.  But it wasn’t the feeling of home I received.  Words can’t express the deep impact that ‘The Avenue of Honour’ had on me.  It has powerful Spirituality, for want of a better word, and many times I was overcome with emotion.  I can’t explain it. It changed me.   My mother was with me at the time and whenever she reads about it, sees something on TV or hears mention of it, she calls me.  She saw how I was affected.  Even now, I remain affected by it and long to return there.   Thank you to those who worked so hard to create such a special place and who continue to tirelessly maintain it.  

Somehow I think divine intervention led me to AHQ.

I’m a relative newcomer to AHQ not yet having my first birthday with them.  In that time I have made two quilts and laundry bags.  I was fortunate to be a part of the Centenary Quilt and I’m in the midst of making a laundry bag request as I don’t have the time for another quilt at the moment.  

In the past year I have also made a memory quilt after my uncle passed away and a quilt for an older couple in Tassie who needed a lift and what’s better than a quilt to warm your body and soul?   I do spread the joy around a little but keep coming back to AHQ. 

I must admit if I had read about the amazing work that some AHQ quilters do I may have been intimidated by their remarkable efforts.  Luckily I didn’t and I hope my story gives confidence to those who aren’t able to work in double digits each year!  I take my hat off to those who work tirelessly, but I am also happy to do my ‘little bit’ as I do so with much gratitude.  

I quilt here and there when the time, energy and inspiration all align.  There is little point in describing my day as not every day includes sewing!  I like to complete a quilt entirely by my own hand even though my quilting shouldn’t be looked at under a microscope.  I’m lucky in that I have received lovely responses from the recipients of my quilts/laundry bags.  I know I do this with no expectations but it is nice to know they arrived safely and my efforts to personalise them have hit the mark.   There is an intrinsic value in giving to others and I receive much in return from AHQ.  

The way I see it, if I can show a handful of ADF personnel that they are appreciated by average Aussies then that’s a good thing.  I know I’ve ‘warmed’ a couple of Aussie Heroes and in the future I’m sure more will lie beneath my expression of gratitude.  

Better go, I have to make an Aussie Hero with a love of Triumph and Douglas motorcycles happy and my treasures from Ebay have now arrived to add to his laundry bag! 

Thanks JM for allowing me to be a small part of the team and a greater thanks to all those who serve. 

PS … my next challenge is to make an AHQ using a treadle sewing machine … that’ll really get them thinking I’m a little old lady!  

If you haven’t given it a go I hope my story encourages you to do so.  You won’t regret it.

I love that Jan-Maree asked for responses to A Slice of Life and asked for two or three of your favourites!  

Considering I only have two quilts and almost 3 laundry bags it makes choosing easy!  I thought it was appropriate to add pics of the backs!

Jenny S

The wonderful Jenny was responsible for “Quilt Gate”.  If you don’t know what that was all about you need to read about it here.  


And back 

The explanation of this awesome laundry bag can be found in the “Quiltgate” post – this is the front

and the back… or maybe this is the front….

Loved this one

and his laundry bag

Thanks so much Jenny. Now won’t some of you others consider writing for us?  We would all love to hear about you and why you sew for Aussie Herros.

Till next time…. keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree  xx

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  1. Sue Niven

    Love it, love it Love it! Great stuff Jenny. More Aussie Hero stories please sewers! I love being part of this on line community.

  2. Janine C

    I love your style Jenny S. You might be surprised that many of us are like you – a laundry bag here and there, fitted between other demands of life. They all contribute to the total.


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